The Fall of the Damned

The Fall of the Damned
ArtistPeter Paul Rubens
Yearca. 1620
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions286.0 cm × 224.0 cm (112.60 in × 88.19 in)
LocationAlte Pinakothek, Munich

The Fall of the Damned, alternately known as The Fall of the Rebel Angels, is a monumental c. 1620 religious painting by Peter Paul Rubens. It features a jumble of the bodies of the damned, hurled into the abyss by archangel Michael and accompanying angels.

In 1959, an art vandal threw acid on the painting. According to him, he did not directly destroy the work, but the acid "relieves one from the work of destruction".


Study for The Fall of the Damned, c.1614–1618

The sketch of The Fall of the Damned was made in black and red chalks, with a grey wash and is kept in the British Museum. It is assumed to be the work of a studio assistant, which Rubens then went over with a brush and oil colour. The dramatic chiaroscuro of the human forms and clouds emphasizes the darkness into which these figures fall, far from the heavenly light above.

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